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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    The Great Swamp Range will open on schedule April 1, 2017

    What should I know about the range?

    The Great Swamp Shooting Range is operated by the Division of Fish & Wildlife and offers public target shooting on a seasonal basis. A free permit is required prior to use. Non-permitted visitors are allowed but they may not handle firearms and are not allowed on the firing line.

    Where is the range located?

    The Great Swamp Range is located within the Great Swamp Management Area at: 277 Great Neck Road, West Kingston, RI 02892. Continue past the office complex and follow the signs to the range.

    What are the hours and season of operation?

    The range is open 7 days per week from April 1st thru September 30th. Hours are 8:30 AM to 6 PM. Hours of operation may vary due to staffing, training activities, maintenance activities and/or environmental conditions.

    What types of Firearms are allowed at the Great Swamp Shooting Range?

    • Handguns
    • Muzzleloaders
    • Rimfire rifles
    • Airguns
    • Shotguns – Generally restricted to use on the clay target field using maximum size 7 ½ lead shot or equivalent size non-toxic shot. For shotgun use on the Rifle/Pistol range you are restricted to slug ammunition or you may pattern your shot if you have appropriate patterning targets and shot ammunition.
    • Centerfire rifles are prohibited at the Great Swamp Range.

    How do I contact the range?

    There is no telephone service at the range. The primary contact is the Hunter Education Office at (401)539-0019 or email Jessica.Pena@dem.ri.gov. The secondary contact is the Great Swamp Office at (401)789-0281. Please direct all mail to: RI Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Office, 1-B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822

    How do I Apply for a Free Great Swamp Range Permit?

    Permit Applications are available:

    For New Range Users:

    It is mandatory to obtain a range permit prior to using the Great Swamp Shooting Range. The application period is from February 1st through September 20th of each year.

    Instructions for New Range Users who are Adults (18 years or older):

    • Complete the application
    • Attach a copy of a government issued picture ID (such as a state driver’s license)
    • Attach a copy of your gun safety credentials like:
      • State issued Hunter Education Card
      • Valid, state issued, firearms hunting license
      • DEM Pistol/Revolver Certification Card (Blue Card)
      • Valid, RI Department of Attorney General Pistol Permit
      • Active Duty Military ID
      • Retired Military DD214
      • Equivalent Certification as determined by the RI Division of Fish and Wildlife
    • Have your signature notarized. Notarization is available at most banks and town halls, and is also offered at the Great Swamp Office (401)789-0281 and at the Hunter Education Office (401)539-0019. Please call ahead.
    • Mail to address indicated on the bottom of form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

    Instructions for New Range Users who are Minors (17 years and younger):

    • Parent or guardian must complete the application
    • Parent must attached their photo ID
    • Parent signature must be notarized. Notarization is available at most banks and town halls, and is also offered at the Great Swamp Office (401)789-0281 and at the Hunter Education Office (401)539-0019. Please call ahead.
    • No gun safety credential is required of a minor applicant but they must be supervised by a permitted adult when using the range.
    • Mail to the address indicated on bottom of form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.
    • Once a minor reaches age 18, they must provide gun safety credentials and apply as an adult.

    How do I renew my permit?

    Range permit holders are required to renew their permit and attend a range safety briefing every 5 years.

    Instructions for Adults (18 years or older) to rewew their permit:

    • Complete the application
    • Attach your expired permit
    • Mail to address indicated on bottom of form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. Notarization and gun credentials are not required for renewals.

    Instructions for Minors (17 years and younger) to renew their permit:

    • Parent or guardian must complete the application
    • Attach expired minor permit
    • Mail to address indicated on bottom of form along with a stamped envelope. Notarization is not required for renewals.
    • Once a minor reaches age 18, they must provide gun safety credentials and apply as an adult.

    What happens after I apply?

    Qualified applicants and renewal applicants will receive a letter indicating the dates and times of the range safety briefings along with a copy of the Target Range Regulations which should be reviewed prior to attendance. Target Range Regulations can be viewed here under Section 1.33 and contain valuable information related to allowable firearms and associated requirements. Please note: Incomplete applications will be returned with a letter of explanation.

    Both new users and renewals must attend a Range Safety Briefing in order to obtain your range permit. The Range Safety Briefings are held throughout the season at the Great Swamp Range and generally last less than one hour. No appointment is necessary. Adult applicants MUST bring a photo ID in order to participate in the Range Safety Briefing. Minors must attend in the company of a parent or guardian.

    Your permit application will remain active for 2 range seasons (April to October). If you fail to attend a range safety briefing in that time frame you must reapply.

    How long is my range permit valid?

    Adult Range Permits are issued for 5 years. Minor Range Permits are issued for 5 years unless the applicant will turn 18 within that time frame. The minor’s permit will expire on their 18th birthday at which time they must apply as an adult.